London: Johnson & Johnson on Wednesday raised its revenue forecast for the year and forecast $2.5 billion in sales of its COVID-19 vaccine, which has fallen behind rival shots from Pfizer and Moderna as the company deals with vaccine production problems and safety concerns.
Even though Johnson & Johnson’s shot was approved in the United States months after vaccines developed by both Pfizer Inc. and Moderna Inc., its vaccination outlook pales in comparison to its competitors and illustrates the gaps that are widening in the vaccine race. Pfizer and Moderna forecast sales of vaccines of $26 billion and $19.2 billion, respectively.
The J&J shot once touted as helpful for vaccinations in hard-to-reach areas, is already experiencing delays in the U.S. and Europe. It has also been linked to a very rare, potentially life-threatening blood clotting disorder.
J&J raised expectations for full-year sales to $93.8 billion to $94.6 billion, including contributions from the single-dose vaccine and to $91.3 billion to $92.1 billion for the rest of the business. The company had previously forecast sales between $90.6 billion and $91.6 billion.
The outlook was boosted by increased sales at its medical devices unit and higher demand for products such as psoriasis and Crohn’s disease drug Stelara. In the second quarter, the company sold $164 million worth of vaccines.
Sales of vaccines by Pfizer Inc and Moderna Inc are forecast to reach $26 billion and $19.2 billion annually, respectively. Both shots were approved in the United States last year, and J&J’s vaccine was approved this year. Although both companies expect to profit from their vaccines, Johnson & Johnson has said it will provide the vaccine on a not-for-profit basis during the pandemic.
According to IBES data from Refinitiv, J&J earned $2.48 per share in the second quarter, beating analysts’ average estimate of $2.27 per share. The company sold $23.31 billion in total sales, exceeding the estimate of $22.21 billion. The company’s shares rose 1% before the opening bell.